'By the semi-mystical appearance of a condom': How young women and men communicate sexual consent in heterosexual situations

Susan Hickman, Charlene L. Muehlenhard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Little is known about how women and men communicate sexual consent. In this study, 378 undergraduate women and men completed a questionnaire designed to examine how they would interpret their date's and their own consent signals in hypothetical scenarios and how they actually communicate consent in heterosexual situations. Although there were no gender differences in ratings of the hypothetical date's behavior, men rated their own behaviors in hypothetical scenarios as more representative of consent than women rated their own behaviors, suggesting that women and men may mean different things when they use the same signals. There were some gender differences in how they conveyed consent in actual situations; furthermore, both women and men reported most often showing their consent to sexual intercourse by making no response. The effect sizes of the gender differences were small. The results suggest that gender-based miscommunications about consent are possible but unlikely. Thus, miscommunication is an unlikely explanation for rape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-272
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume36
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Heterosexuality
Condoms
gender-specific factors
scenario
Coitus
rape
rating
Consent
Sexual
Mystic
questionnaire
gender
Gender Differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

'By the semi-mystical appearance of a condom' : How young women and men communicate sexual consent in heterosexual situations. / Hickman, Susan; Muehlenhard, Charlene L.

In: Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1999, p. 258-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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